Statement on Signing a Bill Concerning the Establishment of Alcohol Traffic Safety Programs

October 25, 1982

I have signed into law today H.R. 6170, a bill that establishes a new incentive grant program to encourage States to establish programs to reduce or eliminate drunk driving. Accidents caused by drunk drivers are a serious problem that cost this country vast amounts of money each year, cause thousands of deaths or injuries, and cause untold grief to these victims and their families.

While I have decided to sign H.R. 6170 into law, I must express my strong opposition to one provision of the bill. Section 102 would authorize one House of Congress to veto regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Transportation to govern supplemental grants for alcohol traffic safety programs. The Attorney General has advised that, because such congressional action has the force and effect of law, the Constitution requires that action to be taken by legislation be presented to the President for approval or veto before it can become effective. Section 102, however, omits the President from this process of lawmaking. Moreover, Section 102 unconstitutionally involves the Congress in the executive functions of promulgating regulations under authority previously conferred, in violation of the principle of separation of powers. This act will be administered consistently with these constitutional principles.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 6170 is Public Law 97 - 364, approved October 25.